4 Sep

Uber launches first commuter boat service on the Thames

first_imgIt has been allowed to continue operating while an appeal against the ruling is pending. whatsapp Twenty boats will take to the water today as part of the fresh collaboration, with departures from 23 piers across London from Putney to Woolwich. Poppy Wood Monday 3 August 2020 12:01 am The move marks Uber’s first foray into fixed-scheduled commuter boats in its 11-year history, as the future of its London ride-hailing operations remains uncertain. Sean Collins, Thames Clippers co-founder and chief executive, said: “We’re excited that in this new world we are able to offer a new way of travelling through the capital by enabling multi-modal transport with a continued focus on great customer experience.  But its application for a new operating licence in the capital was rejected by Transport for London (TfL) last November due to safety concerns, after some drivers were found to have faked their identities. Show Comments ▼ Last year 4.3m passengers used the Thames Clippers commuter service, which is majority-owned by AEG — the owner-operators of the O2 entertainment venue. whatsapp Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: “As Londoners begin to head back to work and move safely across the city, they will now be able to book travel on both the river and road through the Uber app.  Also Read: Uber launches first commuter boat service on the Thames center_img Also Read: Uber launches first commuter boat service on the Thames The ride-hailing titan has previously trialled boat-hailing services for tourists in Croatia, Turkey and the US.  Uber launches first commuter boat service on the Thames Uber users will be able to book a Thames river journey through the normal app, and board using a QR code on their phone. “This partnership reflects the resurgence of the river and we’re looking forward to welcoming new passengers on-board to enjoy the unique benefits of navigating London safely by taking to the Thames.” Service resumed last month after months of closure during the pandemic, with strict new social distancing measures in place including reduced capacity and mandatory face masks.  Uber’s first ever UK boat service will set sail on the River Thames today in a new partnership that will see Thames Clippers’ commuter service rebranded by the global ride-hailing giant. Before the Open: Get the jump on the markets with our early morning newsletter Commuters will still be available to buy tickets elsewhere and service remains part of the Oyster network. Boats and piers will be rebranded with the newly-created Uber Boat by Thames Clippers brand, but the service will continue to be fully operated by Thames Clippers. “We must ensure that everyone does not return to their cars in response to the crisis, so our vision is to end private car ownership in favour of shared, electric vehicles, as well as making greater use of the river network for urban mobility.” Sharelast_img read more

24 Aug

Meet the skeptics: Questions surround Walker’s gas line plan

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Energy & Mining | Politics | State GovernmentMeet the skeptics: Questions surround Walker’s gas line planSeptember 22, 2016 by Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk Share:Lawmakers from the House and Senate Natural Resources Committees listened to testimony on the gas line on Aug. 25, 2016. From left: Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla; Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River; Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage; Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy; Rep. Benjamin Nageak, D-Barrow; and Rep. Bob Herron, D-Bethel. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Gov. Bill Walker is making the case that his new gas line plan will get the project off the drawing board and on to Alaskan soil. But it’s not hard to find skeptics who say Walker is just creating more paperwork.For the final story in our series Pipeline Promises, Elizabeth Harball talked to the Walker’s critics.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2016/09/ann-20160922-02.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.As a new energy reporter in Alaska, it didn’t take long for me to notice that even though state leaders are always talking about the gas line, there’s something left unsaid. I mentioned this to Larry Persily, a gas line expert who now advises the Kenai Peninsula Borough.HARBALL: It seemed to be this unstated truth that a lot of people don’t believe this is going to happen. This may not even materialize …PERSILY: Right, oh yes. Even a couple years ago when [Alaska LNG] looked like, hey! People were still like, “Oh, it won’t happen.”HARBALL: Right, and being a new Alaskan …PERSILY: Do you have a dog yet?No dog yet. That being said, this new Alaskan had to learn why so many people think the governor’s plan is doomed.Skeptics like Persily see big forces working against the project. The biggest is the market: This is an expensive project aimed at supplying a product, gas, that today is plentiful and cheap.“Prices for the commodity are down, the project is one of the most expensive energy projects ever in the history of the world, so that alone would make a lot of people skeptical,” said Persily. “They look at the price tag, look at what you are going to get for the project at the end and they say, ‘That’s not going to happen, turn the TV back on.’”Lousy market conditions help explain why the big oil companies are stepping back from the effort to build the gas line. And this plays into another big issue skeptics bring up — one that became clear as I walked into Anchorage Republican State Sen. Cathy Giessel’s office. We spoke sitting between stacks of cardboard boxes. Oil-dependent Alaska can’t afford the legislature’s sleek new building, so lawmakers are moving.The governor argues Alaska’s dire fiscal situation is one reason to charge ahead. Giessel said it’s a reason to be cautious.As much as she’s like to see the project built, she said, “We have a significant budget challenge right now and I think that we can overplay our hand and find ourselves in an even worse fiscal predicament if we act rashly.”Giessel said she’s not sure the state has the capacity to manage the project and she’s not sure how much it’s going to cost to build that capacity. She also said more state control means the state is taking on more responsibility for the project’s risks, as well.This idea of risk brings us to the other reasons people are skeptical, which have to do with Walker’s plan in particular. That plan, in brief, is for the state to bring in money from outside investors rather than relying on the oil companies to pay for most of the gas line. State leadership may also mean some part of the project may not have to pay federal taxes. In late August, energy analyst David Barrowman of Wood Mackenzie told lawmakers that in theory, elements of Walker’s proposal could be a promising way to bring the project’s total cost down.“Currently Alaska LNG, in terms of global competitiveness, is quite challenged,” Barrowman said. “But there are levers that can be used.”Those levers, he said, are exactly the ones Walker is trying to pull to reduce the project’s price tag — attracting third party investors and avoiding some federal taxes. But the next day, the legislature’s energy consultant, Nikos Tsafos, took his turn before lawmakers and tore into Walker’s plan.“You usually want to take over economic projects, not uneconomic projects,” Tsafos said.One of Tsafos’ critiques is the idea of outside investors. The oil companies — BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips — worry their investments in a gas line wouldn’t pay a high enough return to be worthwhile. The governor argues that instead, the state can find outside investors, like pension funds, that would require less of a profit on the project and finance it more cheaply.In an interview, Tsafos said he’s not sure investors like this actually exist.“I mean borrowing money — everyone borrows money,” Tsafos said. “The idea that somehow the state of Alaska has discovered that by borrowing money the project could be made cheaper, that doesn’t make any sense, right?”Tsafos said he’s looked at other projects around the world and can’t find many examples of the kind of investors the governor has in mind backing LNG projects, much less at this massive scale and this early in the game. And Tsafos doubts they’ll accept less profit in return for their investment than the oil companies.Walker also wants to make the pipeline cheaper by getting out from under some federal taxes. A lot of the state of Alaska’s projects don’t pay federal taxes because they benefit the public. The governor argues if Alaska leads the way, it can make a case that part of the project won’t owe the IRS a check.But Walker’s skeptics argue that because this project will involve private interests — potentially some of the wealthiest companies in the world — the IRS may not approve of this idea.“This is not a school or a highway for general public use,” said Persily. “This is really a private undertaking where 95 percent of the gas is going to go not just outside of Alaska, but overseas.”After hearing all this skepticism, I started to wonder, what’s the downside? What if the project doesn’t work? Will the state lose billions of dollars? Will I have to pack up my bags and move back to Washington, D.C.?Everyone told me, calm down. Walker is taking one step in what’s going to be a very long journey. Will it cost money? Sure, and that’s important to pay attention to at a time when every dollar for the gas line is one that doesn’t go to other state services.But Persily said it’s nothing compared to what the state has spent on this project in the past.“Looking at the hundreds of millions the state has spent in the last 10 years, the billion the companies have spent in the last 10 years on this — if that’s what it takes to put this to rest … if that’s the political price of all this, maybe that’s the way we’ve got to go,” he said.Persily gives Walker’s plan a 10, maybe 20 percent chance of working. But he’s not losing any sleep over it.Meanwhile, Walker will spend the next year making a case to the public, lawmakers and the market in hopes of proving his skeptics wrong.Pipeline Promises: Alaska’s quest for a natural gas lineVideo: Forty years of Alaska’s failed gas line plansGas line: A love storyMan on a mission: Gov. Walker and the gas lineThe man with the plan: Can Keith Meyer sell the gas line?Meet the skeptics: Questions surround Walker’s gas line planShare this story:last_img read more

13 Jul

Small business welcomes late payment tsar as Anna Soubry dubs disputes “unacceptable”

first_img More From Our Partners Brave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgWhite House Again Downplays Fourth Possible Coronvirus Checkvaluewalk.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgInstitutional Investors Turn To Options to Bet Against AMCvaluewalk.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.com‘The Love Boat’ captain Gavin MacLeod dies at 90nypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comConnecticut man dies after crashing Harley into live bearnypost.com Sunday 26 July 2015 11:13 pm Small business welcomes late payment tsar as Anna Soubry dubs disputes “unacceptable” by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUnify Health LabsRandy Jackson: This 3 Minute Routine Transformed My HealthUnify Health LabsGameday NewsNASCAR Drivers Salaries Finally ReleasedGameday NewsSwift VerdictChrissy Metz, 39, Shows Off Massive Weight Loss In Fierce New PhotoSwift VerdictMaternity WeekA Letter From The Devil Written By A Possessed Nun In 1676 Has Been TranslatedMaternity WeekPost FunKate & Meghan Are Very Different Mothers, These Photos Prove ItPost FunComedyAbandoned Submarines Floating Around the WorldComedyForbesThese 10 Colleges Have Produced The Most Billionaire AlumniForbeszenherald.comMeghan Markle Changed This Major Detail On Archies Birth Certificatezenherald.com whatsapp whatsappcenter_img Tags: Small business Show Comments ▼ Business groups have come out in support of the latest government proposals for a new small business tsar tasked with addressing payment disputes.The department of business, innovation and skills said yesterday that a new, yet to-be-named small business commissioner would tackle unfair practices by leading a “culture change in how small businesses resolve disputes with larger companies.”Proposals to create the new commissioner role will be included in the government’s enterprise bill, according to the business department.Following yesterday’s announcement, small business minister Anna Soubry called late payment disputes “simply unacceptable,” saying that small businesses in Britain are owed £26bn in late payments each year.The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called the government announcement a “step in the right direction.” FSB national chairman John Allan added: “It’s important to ensure that the new commissioner has the confidence of the entire business community, a clear focus on tackling supply chain bullying, and sufficient powers to intervene and resolve late-payment disputes in a timely and effective way.” Meanwhile, Institute of Directors (IoD) policy chief James Sproule called the announcement “very welcome”. He told City A.M. that late payment is a “particular problem for smaller companies,” and affected around two-thirds of IoD members last year alone. Share Express KCS last_img read more

23 Jun

Preventing PTSD: calling Dr. Tetris?

first_img Please enter a valid email address. Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson @shailijainmd By Shaili Jain May 14, 2018 Reprints The team recruited 71 individuals who survived motor vehicle crashes while they were still in the emergency department. Half of them were asked to think about the worst moments of the accident and then were asked to play Tetris for 20 minutes. The other half were asked to write down a log of what they had done since coming to the hospital.advertisement Shaili Jain Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. Privacy Policy The results, which were published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, are promising. When compared to the log completers, participants who played Tetris were less likely to report post-trauma intrusive memories and related psychological distress in the week that followed their car accident.For centuries, prevention was an essential part of mental health care. By the mid-1950s, this approach was thriving. But in the ensuing decades, skeptical politicians, the changing role of psychiatrists, and the growing popularity of psychiatric medication pushed preventive psychiatry to the sidelines.This means that today, conversations about PTSD typically focus on treatment: better pills or more powerful talk therapies. Research into the cause of PTSD tends to focus on gene deletions, abnormal brain structures, and neurotransmitters gone awry.But doctors like me who work on the front lines of PTSD are feeling the limitations of that focus. Researchers from the University of Oxford tried to answer that question using an unusual prevention strategy — the computer game Tetris. Engaging in a visually absorbing task soon after surviving trauma could, they hypothesized, distract the brain and prevent it from over-consolidating those early visual memories of trauma. Shift in research funding. Funding agencies need to make a long term commitment to the research and development efforts that will be required to thoroughly test these innovations. Unfortunately, less than 5 percent of American health spending is on prevention. A tangible shift in the way we spend health care dollars will be needed for golden-hour interventions to earn a position on the frontlines of clinical care.Ethical concerns. Most people who experience a traumatic event do not develop PTSD. How, then, would we ethically determine who should receive a golden-hour intervention after trauma? A one-size-fits-all approach would clearly be an overreach. Another conundrum would be how to seek consent for a treatment to prevent a condition that a patient doesn’t yet have. Still, scientists won’t get the chance to engage in these important debates if golden-hour innovations never get to see the light of day. Reassuringly, the Tetris intervention offers a very favorable benefit-risk profile with very little chance of harm but a potentially considerable upside.PTSD is a pressing public health concern. In addition to the potentially devastating human suffering, people living with PTSD miss an average of four days of work per month, resulting in a loss of almost $3 billion dollars per year in productivity in the United States alone.In the end, the toll this condition takes in the United States and around the globe favors the argument that an ounce of PTSD prevention is truly worth more than a pound of cure.Shaili Jain, M.D., is a psychiatrist and PTSD specialist at Stanford University and the author of “Unspeakable: An Intimate Portrait of Posttraumatic Stress” (Harper, 2019).center_img Dom Smith/STAT Leave this field empty if you’re human: At any given moment in the United States, 6.3 million people are living with PTSD. Eighty percent of PTSD sufferers have at least one other psychiatric condition, typically depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse, and all carry a higher risk of death by suicide. Not only is PTSD difficult to live with, it also increases the risk for obesity, cancer, heart disease, and more.We have treatments that work. Symptom improvement has been reported in up to 60 percent of individuals with PTSD who engage in such interventions. Unfortunately, only one-third of people with PTSD receive such treatments. Left untreated for a year or more, their chances of being symptom free are drastically reduced.It’s understandable why the pendulum might be swinging back toward prevention. My fear is that preventive psychiatry’s comeback will fail if we don’t learn from the mistakes of the past. Here are three hurdles we need to overcome to successfully prevent PTSD in the 21st century.Solid evidence. Earlier attempts at prevention relied more on rhetoric and theory than sound evidence. This shaky scientific foundation led to the demise of such efforts. Fortunately, today’s preventive PTSD research is meeting a higher standard. The Oxford study joins a growing body of evidence that has been conducted with a level of scientific precision that was missing from prior preventive efforts. Other golden-hour interventions that show promise include hydrocortisone, delivered as a pill or an intravenous treatment; short-term opioids to aggressively reduce pain after physical trauma; and a modified prolonged exposure (the gold standard in talk therapy for PTSD) intervention for delivery within hours after a trauma. About the Author Reprints First OpinionPreventing PTSD: calling Dr. Tetris? Related: This drug has been used to treat PTSD symptoms. What happens when it fails a trial? Trending Now: Preventive psychiatry, a forgotten chapter in the history of mental health, is trying to make a comeback. One area in which it is being explored is post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition represents an excellent opportunity for prevention because of the so-called golden hours: the period between experiencing a traumatic event and the onset of PTSD. It represents a window of opportunity for medical intervention to set the brain on a path toward recovery.Consolidating memories is an essential function for the human brain. This process involves stabilizing memories and allowing them to ripen and mature. After a traumatic event, the consolidation process can go into overdrive, lending traumatic memories their unforgettable quality and allowing them to invade a survivor’s life, weeks and months later, in an intrusive and highly visual manner.Could disrupting memory consolidation in the golden hours prevent the onset of PTSD?advertisement Tags mental healthlast_img read more

20 Jun

‘Build our own houses for our own people’ – Councillor objects to Carlow people getting Laois homes

first_img Twitter Pinterest Previous article13 months after assembling his squad, Laois minor boss Bates is delighted to finally get startedNext articleLocal residents concerned as planning application made for quarry near Stradbally Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Facebook WhatsApp Home News Council ‘Build our own houses for our own people’ – Councillor objects to… NewsCouncil ‘Build our own houses for our own people’ – Councillor objects to Carlow people getting Laois homes Independent Councillor Ben Brennan has called on Laois County Council to do more to ensure that Laois people on the housing waiting list are allocated social houses – ahead of people from other counties.Mr Brennan was speaking in relation to two housing estates, that are in Laois, but have tenants who are paying rent to Carlow County Council.Tommy Murphy Housing Estate and Fruithill Manor in Griaguecullen are two estates where, according to Cllr Brennan, a number of the houses were allocated to people from Carlow.Speaking at yesterday’s meeting of the Graiguecullen-Portarlington Municipal District, he said: “We should build our own houses for our own people – it really is as simple as that.“We are going around housing people from every other county bar our own – it seems. “There are people from all over Carlow living in those estates when we have thousands of people on the housing waiting list in Laois.”Mr Brennan also outlined how next door neighbours in Fruithill Manor estate are paying completely different rates.The huge difference in rents arises because Laois County Council charges a maximum rent of €93 a week, while the maximum for Carlow County Council tenants is nearly double that at €180.This was something that had been brought to in April 2019 and although a letter had been written to Carlow County Council – nothing, it seems, has changed.Cllr Aisling Moran queried if some people on that list were unwilling to take a house in Graiguecullen.However, Cllr Paschal McEvoy reckoned anybody offered a house in the current climate would certainly take one.And according to Cllr Padraig Fleming, houses in a particular area are, in some instances, were only being offered to people in nearby areas rather than in the whole of Laois.The discussion began after Cllr Brennan asked that Laois County Council take in charge the aforementioned Tommy Murphy Housing Estate.In reply, Senior Planning Mr Pat Delaney said: “Documentation has now been received from Carlow County Council.“It is expected that this estate will be recommended for taking in charge by the end of Quarter 1 of 2021.”SEE ALSO – Laois minor footballers confirm captain, vice-captain and 35-man panel ahead of Leinster opener By Alan Hartnett – 10th December 2020 Electric Picnic Twittercenter_img Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festival Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Electric Picnic TAGSBen BrennanFruithill ManorGraiguecullenGraiguecullen/Portarlington Municipal AuthorityLaois County CouncilTommy Murphy Housing Estate Facebook Electric Picnic WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

19 Jun

Kim Satisfied with “Transformed” Store

first_img Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak Kim Satisfied with “Transformed” Store There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest News Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) today reported news of an onsite inspection by Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Eun and others to the Kwangbok District of Pyongyang, the city’s commercial center. The main site on the visit was reportedly the newly expanded and redesigned Kwangbok Department Store. The redevelopment of the store was ordered by the elder Kim following his trips to China earlier this year, where he was repeatedly exposed to the full force of China’s commercial development. According to KCNA, “To enhance the people’s welfare and improve their lives, upon the direct suggestion and boundless affection of the fatherly General with his perpetual concern for the people, Kwangbok Department Store, which was constructed in October, 1991, has been transformed anew into the commercial center of Kwangbok District.”“From warehouse to sale, the realization of information technology and numerical control of all management operations guarantee accuracy and speed, and the store has been stocked to guarantee the utmost convenience of visitors,” it went on. KCNA went on to say that Kim Jong Il listening to information from related officials, and subsequently declared himself satisfied with the way the store matched the people’s needs in all areas, from sales plans to the amount and quality of goods available.“We must proceed with the kind of commercial activity that can sell to the people of the capital city those things that they would not be able to live without in their daily lives such as clothing, shoes, food, conveniences, family items, school goods and cultural things, and leave them with no complaint,” he emphasized. News Facebook Twitter North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with Chinacenter_img News SHARE By Kang Mi Jin – 2011.12.16 1:22pm RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR News Kang Mi JinKang Mi JinKang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to [email protected] last_img read more

18 Jun

Quadrus fined for lax supervision

Rust violated securities laws by failing to deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with his clients. He also failed to establish prudent business procedures for dealing with his clients, the NSSC said. In February 2004, terms and conditions were placed on Rust by the NSSC that required he be kept under close supervision by Quadrus, which agreed to provide that close supervision to monitor his activities. The company failed to meet those commitments, the NSSC said. In February 2007, Rust violated the terms and conditions by providing inconsistent information on loan applications. He also advised clients to sign blank documents and to purchase and redeem funds, resulting in clients paying excessive deferred sales charges. The NSSC said Quadrus and Rust both accepted responsibility for their conduct and were co-operative with commission staff. Since the violation, Quadrus has hired new supervisory personnel, changed its supervisory structure and enhanced its processes for supervision of representatives and the use of leverage. “Effective supervision is the first line of defence in investor protection. The lesson learned in this proceeding is that firms are key players in investor protection and they must be diligent in providing effective supervision,” said Heidi Schedler, enforcement counsel for the NSSC. The commission approved the settlements and ordered Quadrus to pay a penalty of $40,000, and $1,000 in costs. It ordered Rust to pay a $10,000 penalty, and $1,000 in costs. BFI investors plead for firm’s sale The Nova Scotia Securities Commission (NSSC) has approved two settlement agreements, with sanctions, with mutual fund dealer Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. and one of the firm’s mutual fund salesmen, Grant Rust. The NSSC said Quadrus violated Nova Scotia securities laws by failing to provide close supervision to Rust, and failing to establish supervisory procedures that conformed with prudent business practice. Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords EnforcementCompanies Nova Scotia Securities Commission, Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter IE Staff Related news PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case read more

16 Jun

Christmas closure: Imperial to introduce additional support over holidays

first_imgChristmas closure: Imperial to introduce additional support over holidays As we approach the end of term, Imperial is ensuring that a wide range of services and support for students is maintained across the holiday period.With the end of the Autumn term on Friday 18 December, the College will enter the Christmas vacation and the College closure period. Although this is traditionally a time where many students return home, it is anticipated that a higher number will remain in halls or in London than in previous years.In recognition of this, the College and the Imperial College Union (ICU) will be making extra efforts maintain a variety of services for the majority of the Christmas period and provide students with support.Jane Neary, Director of Campus Services said: “We know that this will be a different holiday period than we might have had in previous years, with more of our students staying on or around campus.”“In what has already been a year of some disruption, we’re determined to ensure that our services and support for students are maintained as much as possible.”Support in hallsWith the anticipation that around 1000 residents will remain in halls of residence, many term-time services will be maintained during the vacation period in halls.Round-the-clock pastoral and emergency support will remain available throughout from wardening and security teams, as well as the comprehensive package of measures for students who are self-isolating. This includes free food delivery and help with laundry for those who require it, as well as a warm welcome for those student who are newly arriving in halls.For the majority of the vacation period, any student who is self-isolating will receive a varied menu of food options, including a Christmas meal. Festive goodie bags will also be delivered to all students in halls.WellbeingThe wide-ranging support available through the Student Support Zone will be bolstered with additional virtual resources for all students, as most one-to-one services will be temporarily closed for the vacation.The resources will include comprehensive, proactive guidance on managing common concerns, such as heightened anxiety or isolation. There will also be a schedule of events and activities (at College and in London) to ensure students have opportunities to socialise and encourage a break from their studies.The enhanced website will be available from early December and will provide a single location that will signpost students to all available services, including those offered by the ICU.Hannah Bannister, Director of Student Services, said: “While many students will be looking forward to a well-earned rest, Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some, particularly in a year that has provided so much uncertainty. We’re developing a package of materials to ensure students are well-supported throughout this time and to mitigate the impact of the short interruption to the usual services and term-time structure.”The Union will also be offering chances to keep connected over the Christmas period with virtual events and an in-person buddying scheme.The Student Hub will be available for virtual appointments across a number of days over the Christmas holiday, providing a one-stop-shop for many of the College’s services.In order to support physical wellbeing, Move Imperial are expanding their standard Christmas programme.Ethos in South Kensington will be open for the majority of the Christmas period, supplemented by a variety of remote resources available as part of the MoveFromHome campaign. iGym in North Acton and the Silwood Park gym will also be open from 29 December.View embedded Twitter contentSpace on campusStudents in and around London will be able to enjoy a variety of spaces and services across most of the Christmas vacation.The Central Library will remain available from 8.00 to midnight (except for Bank Holidays).ICU’s FiveSixEight will open for the week leading up until the end of term, and then again from Sunday 27 December, providing a space for students to safely socialise under current government guidance. The College’s Breakout Space in the Queen’s Tower Rooms will also remain available from 8.00 to 17.00 on all days where the Library is open.The Library Cafe and Essentials Store will also be open on most days, excluding Bank Holidays. Free hot drinks will be available from vending machines in the Sherfield Building foyer during times when the Library Cafe is not open. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:anxiety, building, campaign, Central, Emergency, Government, Holiday, Impact, Imperial College London, interruption, London, Queen, resources, security, students, Twitter, university, websitelast_img read more

16 Jun

Creative Ageing Framework a work of art

first_imgCreative Ageing Framework a work of art Minister of StatePainting for people living with dementia is one program highlighted in the NSW Government’s new framework to help boost health and wellbeing for older people.NSW Creative Ageing Framework promotes productive ageing and healthy lifestyles by tapping into seniors’ creativity.“We’re encouraging seniors to undertake creative pursuits as a way to challenge themselves, stay socially connected and embrace lifelong learning,” Mr Lee said.“Whether it be joining a library, storytelling, painting, dancing or using digital media, creative activities like these help keep us mentally and physically healthy”.Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the framework assists with partnerships between the arts and culture sector and organisations that support older people.“We want to connect seniors to the bold, rich and diverse experiences that can be enjoyed by audiences and participants of programs within the arts and culture sector,” Mr Harwin said.“The framework will also raise awareness of the benefits of creative ageing programs and highlight the contributions of older artists”.The Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MCA) creative ageing program ‘Artful’, aims to empower people living with dementia – the greatest cause of disability in Australians aged over 65 – by creating life-enriching experiences.“Meaningfully engaging people living with dementia with contemporary art encourages mental and physical stimulation and self-expression,” MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said.The Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing (MACA) helped develop the framework and said it’s a timely addition amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.“Depression and loneliness are two of the biggest risk factors in older people’s lives, and we commend the NSW Government on this initiative,” MACA Chair, Kathryn Greiner AO, said.The framework is a key initiative of the Ageing Well in NSW: Seniors Strategy 2021-2031. Find out more about the framework. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, contemporary art, covid-19, creativity, dementia, depression, digital, director, Government, loneliness, Minister, New South Wales, NSW, older people, pandemic, participants, Seniors, wellbeinglast_img read more

14 Jun

Earth still absorbing CO2 even as emissions rise, says new CU-led study

first_imgDespite sharp increases in carbon dioxide emissions by humans in recent decades that are warming the planet, Earth’s vegetation and oceans continue to soak up about half of them, according to a surprising new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.The study, led by CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Ashley Ballantyne, looked at global CO2 emissions reports from the past 50 years and compared them with rising levels of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere during that time, primarily because of fossil fuel burning.  The results showed that while CO2 emissions had quadrupled, natural carbon “sinks” that sequester the greenhouse gas doubled their uptake in the past 50 years, lessening the warming impacts on Earth’s climate.“What we are seeing is that the Earth continues to do the heavy lifting by taking up huge amounts of carbon dioxide, even while humans have done very little to reduce carbon emissions,” said Ballantyne. “How long this will continue, we don’t know.”A paper on the subject will be published in the Aug. 2 issue of Nature. Co-authors on the study include CU-Boulder Professor Jim White, CU-Boulder doctoral student Caroline Alden and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists John Miller and Pieter Tans.  Miller also is a research associate at the CU-headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.According to Alden, the trend of sinks gulping atmospheric carbon cannot continue indefinitely. “It’s not a question of whether or not natural sinks will slow their uptake of carbon, but when,” she said.“We’re already seeing climate change happen despite the fact that only half of fossil fuel emissions stay in the atmosphere while the other half is drawn down by the land biosphere and oceans,” Alden said. “If natural sinks saturate as models predict, the impact of human emissions on atmospheric CO2 will double.”Ballantyne said recent studies by others have suggested carbon sinks were declining in some areas of the globe, including parts of the Southern Hemisphere and portions of the world’s oceans. But the new Nature study showed global CO2 uptake by Earth’s sinks essentially doubled from 1960 to 2010, although increased variations from year-to-year and decade-to-decade suggests some instability in the global carbon cycle, he said.White, who directs CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, likened the increased pumping of CO2 into the atmosphere to a car going full throttle. “The faster we go, the more our car starts to shake and rattle,” he said. “If we drive 100 miles per hour, it is going to shake and rattle a lot more because there is a lot more instability, so it’s probably time to back off the accelerator,” he said. “The same is true with CO2 emissions.”The atmospheric CO2 levels were measured at 40 remote sites around the world by researchers from NOAA and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., including stations at the South Pole and on the Mauna Loa Volcano in Hawaii.Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by fossil fuel combustion and by forest fires and some natural processes, said Ballantyne. “When carbon sinks become carbon sources, it will be a very critical time for Earth,” said Ballantyne.  “We don’t see any evidence of that yet, but it’s certainly something we should be looking for.”“It is important to understand that CO2 sinks are not really sinks in the sense that the extra carbon is still present in Earth’s vegetation, soils and the ocean,” said NOAA’s Tans. “It hasn’t disappeared. What we really are seeing is a global carbon system that has been pushed out of equilibrium by the human burning of fossil fuels.”Despite the enormous uptake of carbon by the planet, CO2 in the atmosphere has climbed from about 280 parts per million just prior to the Industrial Revolution to about 394 parts per million today, and the rate of increase is speeding up.  The global average of atmospheric CO2 is expected to reach 400 ppm by 2016, according to scientists.The team used several global CO2 emissions reports for the Nature study, including one by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. They concluded that about 350 billion tons of carbon — the equivalent of roughly 1 trillion tons of CO2 — had been emitted as a result of fossil fuel burning and land use changes from 1959 to 2010, with just over half moving into sinks on land or in the oceans.According to the study, the scientists observed decreased CO2 uptake by Earth’s land and oceans in the 1990s, followed by increased CO2 sequestering by the planet from 2000 to 2010. “Seeing such variation from decade to decade tells us that we need to observe Earth’s carbon cycle for significantly longer periods in order to help us understand what is occurring,” said Ballantyne.Scientists also are concerned about the increasing uptake of CO2 by the world’s oceans, which is making them more acidic. Dissolved CO2 changes seawater chemistry by forming carbonic acid that is known to damage coral, the fundamental structure of coral reef ecosystems that harbor 25 percent of the world’s fish species.The study was funded by the National Research Council, the National Science Foundation and NOAA.A total of 33.6 billion tons of CO2 were emitted globally in 2010, climbing to 34.8 billion tons in 2011, according to the International Energy Agency. Federal budget cuts to U.S. carbon cycle research are making it more difficult to measure and understand both natural and human influences on the carbon cycle, according to the research team.“The good news is that today, nature is helping us out,” said White also a professor in CU’s geological sciences department.  “The bad news is that none of us think nature is going to keep helping us out indefinitely.  When the time comes that these carbon sinks are no longer taking up carbon, there is going to be a big price to pay.”Contact: Ashley Ballantyne, [email protected] Jim White, [email protected] Jim Scott, CU media relations, [email protected] Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail “What we are seeing is that the Earth continues to do the heavy lifting by taking up huge amounts of carbon dioxide, even while humans have done very little to reduce carbon emissions,” said CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Ashley Ballantyne, who led the study. “How long this will continue, we don’t know.” Published: Aug. 1, 2012 Categories:Science & TechnologyEnvironmentNews Headlineslast_img read more